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STINNEY: An American Execution


Music By: Frances Pollock
Libretto By: Tia Price

Director: Jenna Elser
Scenic Designer: DJ Pike

Lighting Designer: Kaylin Gess
Projections Designer: Tate E. Thompson
Costume Designer: M. Hromek
Venue/Company: Glow Lyric Theatre



STINNEY: An American Execution is a new opera inspired by the true story of George Junius Stinney Jr, age 14, who was wrongfully accused and convicted of murdering two white girls, Betty June  Binnicker, age 11, and Mary Emma Thames, age 7 in Alcolu, South Carolina in 1944. George Jr was sentenced to death by the electric chair and was executed in June 1944, when he became the youngest American in history to be sentenced to death and executed in the 20th century. His entire trial (including jury selection and verdict) took less than one day. 

Frances Pollock and Tia Price retell this story in an unusual way, with the story being told mainly through the eyes of the two young murder victims, Mary Emma and Betty June, and the music draws inspiration not just from traditional opera, but also traditional southern gospel, and electronic music as well, placing this opera not just in 1944, but also hearkening to the historical history of racial injustice that continues today. 

STINNEY: An American Execution not only tells the story of George Jr, but also takes a closer look at his family, the police officers that investigated the murders, the judge and jury that convicted George, and the greater Alcolu community and looks at how each of these parties were affected by and/or how they contributed to this atrocity that has stained American history for years. 


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